North East’s Preisch wins UCBAC title in pouring rain
— Alec Preisch had to be resourceful.
Utilizing an unorthodox strategy, the North East senior overcame the heavy rain and slick conditions to outlast seven other competitors in the finals and capture first place in the discus on the second day of the UCBAC Track and Field Championships at Perryville High School on Wednesday.
Huddled with the other throwers just to the left of the cage, Preisch made an effort to escape the downpour by wearing a hooded sweatshirt and holding an umbrella over his head. He kept the discus dry by wrapping it in the material of his shirt.
When it became his turn to throw, he wasted no time bouncing into the circle, shedding his jacket and umbrella, and letting the discus fly.
“Get the umbrella, dry your hand, throw the umbrella and then, while your hand is still dry, jump in and just chuck it,” Preisch said. “It’s 100 times harder to throw in this.”
Preisch captured the discus throw with a toss of 131 feet, seven inches, finishing ahead of Bel Air’s Jacob Sparr, who ended with a throw of 126-08.
“Today he did what he needed to do. He came with his own little theory, with his umbrella, and boom!” Indians throwers coach Carle Westbrook said. “He’s a quick thrower anyway. He doesn’t play around. We actually developed that in ninth grade for him. The more Alec thinks, the less comfortable he gets.”
Despite the rain, Preisch’s creative method allowed him to improve on last season’s second-place finish in the same tournament.
“It does change your strategy,” Westbrook said of performing in bad weather. “We practice when it
rains. While a lot of people go lift weights, we still throw so we won’t drop as much as some teams. But [rain] definitely affects you. Your grip, your feet, the circle gets slippery on its own. It’s bad.
“The regions are next week and hopefully better weather.”
Preisch’s performance capped a successful two days for the senior, who captured second place in the shot put on Tuesday with a toss of 47-01. He finished less than a foot behind Aberdeen’s Elijah Johnson, who won the UCBAC crown with a throw of 48 feet.
The Indians’ Connor Yedinak and Kyle McCulley earned third and sixth place in the shot put, respectively. McCulley later finished fifth and Yedinak sixth in the discus on Wednesday. Elks continue strong season The Elkton boys’ track and field squad maintained its strong spring campaign by posting the top score among Cecil County teams at the UCBAC Championships at Perryville High School on Wednesday.
After taking first place earlier in the year at both the Cecil County Invitational and the Susquehanna Division Tournament, the Golden Elks secured a fourth overall finish Wednesday, ending with 63 points.
Elkton received victories from senior Zyphere Ruffin and freshman Ray Johnson, while capturing second place in the 4x100-meter relay.
Ruffin triumphed Wednesday after he knifed his way through the pouring rain on the track to capture first place in the 400-meter dash.
Neck and neck down the back stretch, Ruffin pulled away from Aberdeen’s Nathan Reed in the final moments. He then crossed the finish line in 51.79 seconds, nearly two seconds ahead of Reed.
“Honestly, I like running in the rain,” said Ruffin, who also added a third-place result in the 200-meter dash. “It’s more dramatic so it pushes me to run harder. Plus it’s cooler. Running when it’s hot [is not as fun]. It take a lot more energy.”
Johnson joined him on the firstplace podium with a win in the pole vault. The freshman finished by climbing to a height of 11 feet. His effort just edged Rising Sun’s Noah Ulrich, who climbed 10-6. Perryille’s Cage Jones placed third with a vault of 10 feet.
“We honestly came out of no where. We have a very good coach who pushes us in practice,” Ruffin said. “We don’t have the numbers but we have the talent. I can’t imagine what it would be like if we had the numbers and the talent all together. We’d be winning the UCBACs all together, the region all together and possibly states.”
Johnson also finished seventh in the long jump and Raiquon Estep placed sixth in the long jump and third in the triple jump, while George Davis produced a fifth-place finish in the pole vault for Elkton, which received fourth-place results from Peter Olakunle in the 100-meter dash and Leighton Lewis in the discus and a fifth-place finish from Malachi Peterson in the 800-meter run. Panthers place second Fueled by first-place finishes from Autumn Estep and Jarah Cevis, the Perryville girls’ track and field team captured second place in the UCBAC Tournament.
Both Estep and Cevis battled rain-soaked conditions Wednesday to contribute to the final score for the Panthers, who ended the tournament with 117 points. C.M. Wright finished with 126 points to place first.
Estep, a senior, took first place in the 300-meter hurdles after she finished the race in 48-21, just edging Haford Tech’s Ann Luna, who captured second in 48-34. Estep later added a second-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles and contrib- uted to Perryville’s second-place result in the 4x400-meter relay and fourth-place finish in the 4x200meter relay.
Across the stadium, Cevis, a sophomore, prevailed in the shot put, winning with a toss of 33-05 to finish ahead of the Mustangs’ Kiarra Nowell (32-11). Cevis collected a third-place result in the discus.
Alysa Conway added to Perryville’s score by capturing second-place results in the 100- and 400-meter dashes and the triple jump, before taking fifth place in the 200-meter dash. Brooke Doane also contributed to Perryville’s success with a third-place result in the triple jump, a fourth-place finish in the long jump and a sixthplace mark in the 300-meter dash.
Paiton Kelly (second place), Erica Scheppelmann (third place) and Natalie Owens (sixth place) all contributed for the Panthers in the pole vault, while Jillian Miller’s fourth-place finish in shot put and Christen Dodson’s eighth-place finish in discus also added to the final score for Perryville, which earned a sixth-place result in the 4x100-meter relay.
For a full list of all Cecil County athletes who placed during the UCBAC Championships, please visit CecilDaily.com
North East senior Alec Preisch prepares to throw during the boys’ discus event at the UCBAC Track and Field Championships at Perryville on Wednesday. Despite heavy rain, Preisch captured first place in the discus with a toss of 131 feet, seven inches.